The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.

Northern Ireland

Profile: A uniquely different part of the UK electorally, Northern Ireland has a separate party system with none of the main British political parties contesting seats (although the Conservatives normally put up a few token candidates). Since 2005 the dominant party has been the Democratic Unionist Party, the more handline of the major unionist parties and the vehicle of the grand old man of Ulster politics, the aging Rev Ian Paisley. The more moderate Ulster Unionists, once the Ulster wing of the Conservative party, have been almost wiped from the map. On the nationalist side of the divide politics has also moved to the extremes, with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, surplanting the more moderate SDLP. Despite the apparent move towards the extremes, a power sharing executive was finally agreed in 2007, led by the supremely odd couple of Ian Paisley, the face of Unionist intransigence for 40 years, and Martin McGuinness, the former IRA commandant in Derry.

Politics still operates on sharply sectarian lines and when seats have changed hands between Unionist and Republican parties it has often been due to electoral pacts or agreements, or the intervention of independent candidates rather than any cross-community voting. Despite the coming of peace to Northern Ireland, there is little sign of politics as normal breaking out yet.

Parliamentary constituenciesImage Map

East Antrim North Belfast
East Belfast North Down
East Londonderry South Antrim
Fermanagh and South Tyrone South Belfast
Foyle South Down
Lagan Valley Strangford
Mid Ulster Upper Bann
Newry and Armagh West Belfast
North Antrim West Tyrone
NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. It will be replaced by a new guide in 2013, once the fate of the boundary review is finally settled.